Right, you’re now twelve months into your content marketing strategy and absolutely nothing is happening. Visits to your website are increasing by just two to three percent each day, you still have minimal followers on social media and no one is sharing your blog posts.
Where did it all go wrong?
Content marketing is something any business can undertake. What’s more, it’s something any person can undertake, be they a seasoned marketer or wet-behind- the-ears startup entrepreneur. All you need is some inspiration, a content calendar and time set aside to devote to this form of marketing.
There are, however, lots of banana skins on which you can slip during you content marketing journey. In this post, I’m going to list 5 of the most common.
1. You’ve create a blog just because you can
Self-styled King of Content Marketing, Joe Pulizzi, has quite rightly banged the drum regularly when it comes to the perils of businesses blogging simply because they think they need to. If you’re doing that, the chances are the content you’re putting out simply isn’t targeted, engaging or of any benefit to your potential customers.
When it comes to content marketing, blogging should only be undertaken with a clear strategy and set of goals.
2. You haven’t developed buyer personas
Ok – you’ve read this one countless times on tip-based blog posts similar to this one, but the point can’t be emphasised enough.
When you write your first buyer persona (the fictional character for whom your content is developed), it may all feel rather pointless and whimsical, but that person exists and may one day become a paying customer and brand loyalist.
Research your intended audience and create at least three personas that accurately portray the kind of people you’re creating content for. Whenever you’re stuck for inspiration, have a read through your personas and their value will instantly make itself known.
3. You don’t spend enough on content marketing
Many people will tell you that content marketing can be performed with a zero budget and, while this can be true in certain circumstances and industries, if you’re producing every blog post, podcast and video series in-house and failing to build any kind of audience, you may need to bite the bullet and invest in outside assistance. Additional advice: They say, content is a king so such words like unique, similarity checker, useful – have to be an integral part of your content marketing strategy
An external blogger, video producer or podcast aficionado will add to your cost base, but it could be the best investment you make.
4. Your niche is tricky
Content marketing suits all industries and niches, but if you’re finding traction hard to gain, you may be sitting in a niche that presents unique obstacles for this form of promotion.
Typically, these will be industries where the target audience isn’t online or certain B2B sectors that are ‘unsexy’ (how, exactly, can you make steel construction exciting, for example?).
There’s no magic answer to this one, but you will have to put more effort into your content marketing strategy if it turns out to be the case. Chances are, one or two pieces you’ve produced will have gained more engagement than others, so try and suss out what made them work and concentrate your effort on similar content going forward.
5. You need to wait longer
Twelve months? That may not be long enough. Give your content marketing longer if it still doesn’t appear to be working. If you’ve got into this form of marketing, you’ll already have been informed countless times that you need to be in it for the long run and that is absolutely the case.
Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t give up now.
As you would expect, there are many more potential pitfalls in content marketing, but the above represent those that, if avoided, should prevent others from occurring. Keep this list with you at all times and watch as your hard work starts to pay off.
Mark Ellis is a freelance writer who specialises in copywriting, blogging and content marketing for businesses of all sizes. Mark’s considerable experience at director level and deep interest in personal and business success means he’s ready to comment on anything from freelance writing to workplace dynamics, technology and personal improvement.